Shortly after my sixteenth birthday, I talked my parents into getting me a car. It was a baby blue Volkswagen beetle. I LOVED it! I loved the white interior, the shape, the smell, everything. The only problem was that I didn’t know how to drive a stick shift. My persuasive powers must have been peaking because for some unknown reason, they allowed me to drive my new car to a friends house. There came a moment where I had to find a small defrosted spot on my windshield, hit the brake and shift gears. I couldn’t handle it. After 24 hours of ownership, my baby blue Volkswagen beetle was totaled.
Being in the ministry, serving the Lord by doing anything in His church is the best job on the planet. It is the sweetest ride! And yet, there will be times when we find ourselves in situations that we don’t know how to handle, with people we don’t know how to handle and emotions we don’t know how to handle. How do we keep from crashing?
- Make sure you can see clearly.
I crashed that day partly because I neglected to defrost my windows, I was afraid of being late and I didn’t take the time to let the ice clear. Taking the necessary time to see how the Lord is guiding sounds like a “no brainer” and yet how easy it is to start heading in a direction without clear vision. Pressure will push us into doing things we know we shouldn’t do.
Proverbs 29:18 (Message) If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves; But when they attend to what He reveals, they are most blessed.
Give yourself enough time to see clearly what the Lord would have you do and then attend to that only. There is blessing in what He reveals and the direction He gives. Don’t let yourself be pressured into focusing on direction He didn’t give.
- Slow Down.
It’s important to know how to tap the brake. If a situation in the church has you “fired up”, stop talking, complaining and meditating on the perceived problem. Tap the brake, take a step back and stop trying to figure it all out.
Proverbs 3:5 (Message) Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; He’s the one who will keep you on track.
Hearing God’s voice in every situation we are faced with is key to staying on track. But, when we are always talking, it’s hard to hear Him. Slow down, be quiet and listen to God.
- Shift into neutral.
I’m not a car expert obviously but I’ve read that shifting into neutral is the best way to avoid an accident. I believe the same is true in life and ministry.
Shifting into neutral simply means we don’t make any decisions, yet. It doesn’t mean you quit, cop a bad attitude and shift into park—which will get you nowhere because it’s hard to steer a parked car.
In neutral, you are giving yourself time to be led by the Spirit of God instead of being pressured by the dictations of your emotions or the people around you.
Proverbs 4:11,12 says, “I guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths. When you walk your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble.”
In Romans 8:14, Paul explains “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.” God leads with wisdom and peace. We want to lead by not being pressured into grinding our gears in an attempt to figure things out.
I encourage you, if you are not experiencing the joy of this amazing ride called ministry don’t keep going till you crash. Give yourself the time you need to see clearly, listen to His voice and be led by His Spirit.